A Shameless Plug

LAST DAY TO VOTE FOR ZUSH…PLEASE SHARE>>>>LINK ON TOP

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http://pets.subaru.com

Subaru is currently getting folks to enter and vote for pets in the Subaru Pet hall of Fame.

I entered the Zusher.

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The link to vote is at the top of this page and if you should see it on Facebook, the picture above is the one I entered for the Zush.

Please vote for my girl, and if you could share this post,Zusher and I would truly appreciate it. If you are going into the site and can’t recognize her, search for ” Zush” and you will get her entry and the little blip I wrote to submit for her.You can vote daily through the end of November and, again, thanks!

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Leaf me alone

  
I really loved this shot.As I was climbing up with the girls I found the leaf like this. Pretty awesome!

Today is Halloween  

 
Zush is in her traditional jesters collar, and to put devil ears on Kasia was wrong in so many ways, although she is a devil most of the time in public.

We hope your Halloween is fun and safe! Please keep candy from the pups,as they don’t know it’s bad for them!

A Shameless Plug

http://pets.subaru.com

Subaru is currently getting folks to enter and vote for pets in the Subaru Pet hall of Fame.

I entered the Zusher.

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The link to vote is at the top of this page and if you should see it on Facebook, the picture above is the one I entered for the Zush.

Please vote for my girl, and if you could share this post,Zusher and I would truly appreciate it. If you are going into the site and can’t recognize her, search for ” Zush” and you will get her entry and the little blip I wrote to submit for her.You can vote daily through the end of November and, again, thanks!

Governmental Tango

So now, I have gone forward with into the next phase of the NJ tango-the dangerous dance of faxing forms…

Uh, I mentioned on Monday I was in an actual state of New Jersey office? It would have been cost efficient to have told me to bring this with me and you would have had it already? Seriously? What an efficiency expert could do on a field day with this!

To boot, we have company for dinner tonite so we need this road trip right now like a stick in an eye. 

 

Fit Bit Interrruptus

Argh….

So I thought it was a normal Wednesday, so I go myself together and got the girls out and then, a study I am participating in Dementia/Alzheimer’s calls. So forget the long walk with the girls, as their study call required me to get home to a quiet spot.

Then I decided that I would try to take the gals out again and what do you think? The phone rings and my next tango with the State of New Jersey was on the line, looking to go twenty rounds with me. Some fun,eh?

Tomorrow we are having friends over for dinner so the girls and I are going to do our stepping in the drizzle in order to catch up a wee bit.

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My Halloween Storm Sea Stories

“For all those who go down to sea in ships.”…

This time of the year, when I put the girls out with me for a walk, I usually listen to a book on tape: this time of the year? No brained-“The Perfect Storm.”

Hurricane Patricia, which just hit Mexico as a catagory 5, had 880mb – I think hurricane Grace, back in 1991,was close to it, but not quite.

Anyhow, down here in “Amity”,as I like to call it, there are men and women here who do this for a living.As you get to know them and talk to them, you hear their stories and some of them are quite scary .

Listening to Sebastian Junger’s work makes you feel the angst of the waiting families, the consternation of town members who know  the reputation of the boat’s owner,and the prayers and dread of those stuck at sea.

It has given given me a genuine appreciation of all they do, so this week, as I do every year, I will be remembering the crew of the Andrea Gail. 

 

Road Trip

We all are up early this morning, courtesy of the state of New Jersey.

It seems that in my spare time, I need to travel 45 miles from our house to a state government office and verify the fact that I  am citizen of the state of New Jersey.

Never mind that I am registered and have actually voted here, worked not one but two positions here, lay my head on my pillow in my home in the Garden State…they need proof.

  
Well, there in my black bag is my entire life in the state of New Jersey. Past history in this state has proven you can give them the world in documents but they’ll always ask for one more. This bag has everything but the kitchen sink. So for this morning, I’ll be Don(na) Quixote, tilting my lance at governmental windmills  

 

Lazy Sunday

Our company is gone, and we have a Lazy Sunday.

We have gone out for a few walks, and the rain forecasted for ocean-side translated into heavy drizzle,aka rain, for us.

Now that we are dried up, we are ready for an afternoon siesta.

Enjoy what’s left of your Sunday. 

 

Nothing or Something 

A buddy of mine is attending a wedding this afternoon.As she is my neighbor, I am helping her out by letting her dog out for a few hours after her handyman leaves.

My other buddy flew to the islands for a week. I am picking up her mail for a week.

Jim took advantage of a pause in the action to go hiking by the beach.

I got a call from my buddy Kath and they are coming down for a day trip.

Nothing like having a full plate: life is good!

  

Caregiving, again

As I put a ham steak in the grinder to puree it for Zush, a thought struck me.

How many people I have taken care of through the course of my life.

Grandparents, parents, pups, husband, friends…how many people I have had to puree for them because of teeth extraction, digestion issues…how many people I had to have applesauce or pudding on hand for to slip pills into.The worry that sticks with you when the pill doesn’t go down, or you find it in the side of a bed or on the floor.

There’s a lot to be said for caregiving.You are doing it for people you love.

It gives a new meaning to the term bittersweet.

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Saint

Today is the feast day of Saint Pope John Paul II.

I had the experience of being in his presence in Doylestown, Pennsylvania in 1966, when the new Polish shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa was dedicated.

It is kind of funny, in retrospect, because I would have been six years old at the time, and they say childhood memories stay with you.This is true, because I do remember seeing Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who was probably in his early forties at the time,and remember the moment.Funny what the mind allows you to keep.The day he was elected Pope by the College of Cardinals sticks in my memory, as I remember how happy and proud my parents were.I was wrapping my mind around the fact that someone whose presence I was in was now a Pope.Talk about mind-blowing.

I also remember being home when he was in his final illness and passed away. I was with the millions who attended the Mass on television.Large banners were sprinkled through the crowd, proclaiming “Santo Subito”, which means “Saint now” in Italian.

There has been a lot going on in my life, especially the past couple of months.I usually say my morning prayers and meditate when I walk my girls in the morning.Today I recalled that it’s about time that I direct some of my prayers to him.

After all, we go way back….***wink***

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Bermuda Triangle of “Knee-d”

My leg is rebelling.

More precisely, after close to a year of fit bit zipping, my right leg below my knee, is rebelling. Yesterday and today,it has been swollen a bit.

If you remember,or if you are late to the party, I had double knee replacements in March of 2011.So there should be no issues, right?

Hah.

With the swelling as one part of the Knee-d Bermuda Triangle, the second part would be the medical care.

Oh yeah.Had double knee replacements and have an issue with a leg? Don’t move ninety-some miles away from the surgeon who replaced your bum knees.You see, down here in the boonies, NOBODY wants to deal with your sore leg, as they don’t want to touch someone else’ work.Nice, eh?

The third point of this triangle is the leg itself.I used my head and didn’t do 15,000 steps today: I was babying it a little bit. The leg is somewhat less swollen than it was yesterday, and honestly, pain was really not an issue.It’s just when something gets swollen with your leg, and you know you are smack dab in the middle of your fifties, you get concerned.

Thanks to my friend Kate for a long distance consult.To my other buddies who have heard my tale of woe, thanks to you too. Zush and Kasia still got walked and by using my head, we are hopefully going back down to normal.

Stay tuned.

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Cinnamon Raisin French Toast Casserole

Yummo….gotta give this a try!

Simply Made Kitchen and Crafts

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Not far from our home, there is a Pepperidge Farm Outlet that we often visit when going to a nearby mall. One of the items I usually stock up on is the cinnamon raisin bread that is always marked down to a reasonable price. I bring the loaves home and tuck them in the freezer for lots of different recipes.
This is a tasty casserole that takes minutes to put together. It’s such a treat to put a big pan of French toast in the oven rather than standing in front of the stovetop making slices in small batches. This makes for more time to enjoy early morning conversation with the family while savoring the awesome combination of cinnamon, raisin, pecans and maple syrup with a piping hot cup of coffee. I often make this the night before serving so that when I wake up there is no prep time…

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Pumpkin 

We are going to see our friend Max and his Mom Norina tonight.

They were good to us the other night and had us over for homemade minestrone and I felt bad: usually I like to bring something with me, like an appetizer or desert.

They are getting ready to shut down their summer cottage for the year, so I thought of  pumpkin bread! I had a recipe which incorporates mashed ripe banana with it, so that’s what I went with. I figured I would make one for us too, and I incorporated chocolate chips with it. I probably will take a piece to them to see how they’d it.

I give Zush a little canned pumpkin with some protein as a snack and she woofs it down. The only one not embracing pumpkin is Kasia.

Three out of four family members isn’t bad.

  

Really?

So you think you are doing something by having the ability of your blogging app on your phone? I really thought that was great, since it enabled me to do blog posts earlier in the day.

So I pick my iPhone6 and imagine my dismay when my site fell out of my app. Seriously?Did I , like breathe on it or something? After playing sign in roulette for 30 minutes, I finally got back in.

My moral of the story? 

There is no way a 55 year old liberal arts major, circa 1981, can be tech savvy.

Columbo 

I finally figured out why I like Law and Order Criminal Intent.

Columbo!

Part of the NBC Sunday night mysteries in the early seventies, the Columbo series, starring Peter Falk, later was picked up by ABC for a bit, and then was cancelled.

We just sat and watched an episode of Columbo,and Blythe Danner was one of the stars of the episode.For anyone not familiar with her, she is now known for her osteoporosis commercials and being Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother.

Anyway, the similarities between Columbo and Law and Order Criminal Intent are what struck me. The nuances in the plots are enough to make anyone’s grey cells work. Good story line, excellent acting…they just don’t make them like that anymore.

  

Happy Birthday Guys 

Today, my brother Bob turns 65. I can’t believe my sweet Baboo is 65.I can never be half the person he is, and he is the best.

Tomorrow my Daddy would be 95. He passed when he was 77. I miss him every day.

I told Bob today I love him. I talk to my Dad every day. I hold them both tight in my heart. 

Happy birthday- you both are always in my heart.And I miss you too, Mom.

  

Fall in

Out this morning and it definitely had a feel of autumn in the air. 

 
I was in a hoodie and was just comfortable.The clouds in my coffee matched the clouds in my sky, and the furgirls and I took it all in.

Looking forward to weather, the flannel sheets are on the bed, even though I have one or two windows open to sneak some fresh air in.

We are getting ready for a big weekend. Our Property Owners Association had their pancake breakfast tomorrow morning and we have a Moose picnic tomorrow afternoon. Most social activity we have had in a long time….whoo-hoo!

Dueling calls

I tried to deal with a State government office this morning:got hung up on twice. The third time, after being informed all agents are busy right now, I can leave my phone number and they will call me back in between 55 minutes and one hour seventeen minutes from now.

Sure.

I also called the vet and Zusher ‘s lab is back, and I have to wait for a call back to get the actual results from the vet.

Sure.

My nervous breakdown commences.

  

**Sigh**

We went to the vet today with Zush and her follow up sample for testing.

It makes me hate the Internet.

The vet tells me that Zusher might have Cushings disease.Naturally I come home, go on line, and my heart sinks. Seriously I know dogs don’t live forever. I know that. Is it too much just to want her to go out under her own steam.There’s a list of diagnostic symptoms-maybe 10 tops. Zush has two of them.

Every time I walk the girls I pray.I pray for everyone who asks me to keep them and their families in my prayers. I only hope Zush gets a good result.

  

Once an Agency, ALWAYS an agency

So for the past two days I have been trying to get in touch with my adopted state government.I am to the point where I can automatically answer all the blurbs they break in with while you are waiting.The one that is my favorite? “Save time, do it on-line.” Uh, sure, but on-line said I wasn’t able to complete my form and I need to speak to an agent.

DOESN’T ANYONE PICK UP A PHONE HERE?

I shake my head at the amount of times people alleged the we in Philly were slow, but we did pretty well, with the amount of staff we had.I can’t believe the state of this size, with all of its governmental phones in existence, have me again on hold.Told, I am on hold, so far for one hour, twenty-eight minutes plus.Yesterday I was on the phone waiting for over three, YES, THREE hours, and then the phone rang like someone human was actually going to pick it up.

Of course not…it disconnected me.

**SIGH**

Hard time of the year.

As much as I love October, there are some strong memories tied into the month that are now under the realm of being bittersweet.

My oldest brother turned 68 this past Sunday.My brother in the city turns 65 this Saturday, and my Dad would have been 95 on the next day.

The thought brings a lump in my throat, as things can never be as they once were. My Mom would be in the kitchen,making her 1-2-3-4 cake, We all gathered around the dining room table and sang in Polish and English Happy Birthday. We would have pumpkins in the house and mums all through the house.

Good times.

All I can do now is pray for Daddy in heaven on his birthday and send cards to my brothers,

And finally I wrap up in my heart the memories of those good times, and how blessed I was to be there for them.

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Coffee

Since moving out from the big city, I am acutely aware of my distance from a Starbucks and a Dunkin’Donuts. It is safe to say that I do miss going for coffee.

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During my Ferry time, I discovered Gevalia K cups actually made a vanilla latte.I was a little dubious at first, but after scoring some on sale, I was a believer.As I type this before my shift today, the Keurig is set up to make my latte to go and, fortunately for me, there is also a Keurig in the office, so I get to have one later too!

My nephew Greg was kind enough to get me the Keurig baskets so you can save money and the environment and use your regular coffee.It is one of the best presents I ever got, but there are those days where nothing but a vanilla latte will do.

This is one of those days.

Easy Sunday 

For all of my kvetching over the summer, it is my favorite time of year. 

I am sitting on our front porch, with an occasional car going by, my neighbor talking to his pup in the yard, and the breeze stirring occasionally through the oaks.

Jim and I had breakfast out and that was a treat. I got back and had the girls out for a mile walk. Now we are all kicking back, and there’s hope that a few things might get done today, albeit at a leisurely pace.

Enjoy your Sunday.

  

Christopher Columbus 

In the old days, I had a three day weekend for this holiday.

Hah…today I am working to put folks on their ferries for their vacation.

I am surprised but not shocked by the sell outs here, as there seems to be a lot of folks headed south. It would seem that folks are grasping at the last bloom of summer. Even the seagulls seem to be keeping their distance, to let their human targets get to where they are going.

Happy Saturday wherever you are!

  

Fall…and I don’t mean Autumn.

I really had been doing well. I have been working on dropping weight, walking,eating healthier,and yet despite this, I fell twice this past week.

Granted, I am smaller than what I had been, but I have been wearing my sketchers which hug my feet.Either I am walking distracted, or just catching my toes in high cement cracks between grass, but no matter what, I am hurting.

I made my 10,000 steps yesterday, and thanks to a copper fit back brace, I might be doing a little better today. Falling at 55 is rough, and you can bet I am going to try to beat this!

  

That Kind of Day

So far, my morning has been spectacular….

I have had to take the girls out for separate walks. The Zusher needs an additional test from the vet and of course that requires a urine sample.No problem, I would do anything for her.

When I went back to get Kasia, and take her back in,I realize my fit bit zip had FALLEN out of its’ case clipped on my jeans. FALLEN OUT…FIT BIT ZIP…it is not a cheap pedometer and I am not used to going back around to retrace my steps, while a chorus of Saint Anthony, please come around dances in my brain.

Then, I called up my pension board, only to find out they need to send me a new withholding card, as they haven’t been taking quite the amount of tax out of my pension as they should have.

Hope springs eternal.

The rest of the day can only get better!

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Knitwit

Now that the weather is working its’ way down I would love to pick up my knitting needles and get back at it.

I am embarrassed to say I have a pile of yarn that is by my rocking chair,and I really need to keep my hands busy. It gets kind of rough though, as I had gone through a spell with carpal tunnel about twelve years ago, and I always get apprehension about waking up a sleeping giant,as it were.

My friends Kate and Juls are master knitters and their skills are quite awesome and make me green with envy. I know I will never quite get there, but hey, I will let my hands do the talking.

  

Switcheroo 

So now the temperature has tickled the upper 50’s here at night.

My love for mums are overrun by my displeasure for switching closets for clothes. It’s worse now, as I had put the clothes away once, managed to box them up for the season,still within the elbow high pressure of unpacking from the move.

I admire people who have closets arranged by season.Perhaps someday, I’ll find the time, energy and inclination to do it. 

 

Fall in and Wait…

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We were treated to a first blast of fall red this morning when we were walking,but didn’t need the color to announce the season. I was a little chilly, so that is enough of a fall announcement for me. We had our 1 and 3/4 mile walk and it was quite pleasant post storm. Dare I even suggest it that the sun was brazen enough to try to poke it’s head out…

Today we are anticipating a call from our vet for Zush, to see what the results will dictate for her care as we help her into her senior years, which I pray will be for a long while. I have to work from 10 to 6, so, it was nice having the ability to walk in the light, post nor’easter, and take in the beauty around us.

Please hold good thoughts for my Zusher: she is my BFF.

I’ve heard of drive-ins, but..

  
It’s Sunday morning and what are we doing? We’re in line,as you can see by the picture.Where? We are at a car dealership some thirteen miles from the house.

Yes, It’s 7:35am on a Sunday morning and we are in line at a car dealership waiting for a flu shot.

When we were in the city, our local community hospital gave out flu shots, and you called up, made an appointment, came in, got your flu shot.

Down here, they have a drive-thru flu clinic,which is sponsored by the country’s department of health. They run it from 8am thru 1pm. Evidently, it’s so popular that you have to show up early to get on through.This way you have some Sunday left to do something with.

Clever,eh?

Joauquin by Northwest

The hurricane that is coming, fading, or whatever, Joaquin, is second fiddle down here right now.

The coin of the realm here is the Nor’easter.

It was bad enough that the ferry “consolidated” boats due to lack of folks wanting to go on a Disney-esque boat ride that would probably have turned the most galvanized stomach green. I, the hourly purveyor of what my three weather apps on my phone say, well, each time I thought I was going out in drizzle, well, I forgot one thing. The formula is you have to take drizzle and multiply it by a 25 knot wind and then you have one saturated self, not to mention puppies. I went out at my lunch half hour today to try to get steps in, and the first 1.5 miles were rough. I am, although thanks to fit bit zip a bit smaller, but I am a big Polish girl and that wind was fighting me. Needless to say, the last 1.5 miles was a literal breeze, as the wind was at my back giving me a little help.

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To counter all of this storm, though, Jim and I are going for our flu shots tomorrow morning, and after we take care of the health of our bodies, I will act on the health oh Zush and Kasia and my soul, when we take our girls to our parish church, when they will be celebrating the feast of St.Francis of Assisi with the traditional blessing of the animals.

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Did I mention I’ll be working on a crock pot of chicken soup to boot?

A good day to take care of the entire family.

Stormy

Yes,I know it was a song in the 60’s.

  
But this morning when we went out for our walk,it sure was storming. Leaves and limbs and branches are scattered all over the place.

  
The Zusher was a trooper,and more than happy to be out exploring with Mom and Kasia. 

 Kasia was more intrigued with a new route with light.It was also giving her cause to contemplate where all the cars are at.

Tomorrow? Stay tuned for windy….

Waiting

Is there anything worse than waiting?

Oh sure, as an adult you wait patiently because that is how you are brought up to conform to society. As a child, you “can’t wait” for the last day of school, Christmas vacation,summer…you catch my drift?

Zosia had her second blood work done today and the waiting is rough.It brings my mind back to me waiting for various things throughout my life to date.The mind just keeps going, thinking of all possible scenarios and you wonder about the prayers you sent up.

I know no one ever said it would be easy.

Sometimes I wish they would have.

  

Ten

We have finished our first nine months of living full time here, away from the big city.

I would lie if I said I don’t miss the big city, because there are occasions that I do miss certain aspects of my prior life.We used to love close to Fairmount Park, and I miss having the ability to take the girls back there on occasion. When we lived on Rochelle, we were back there all the time.Now that it is October, I know the colors in the park will be spectacular, and although there are trees here, well, it’s not the same as where we first lived.

It is a dreary day here, as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Jauquin is working its’ way up the coast.It matches my mood here, as I am having Zush go for her second blood work today at the vet and worry is an understatement. I am just hoping to keep my girl going as long as I possibly can. There is something about being down here in stormy weather that just really brings out.After seeing, and reading, “The Perfect Storm”, weather is magnified when walking down by the bay. I would never have this atmosphere back in the city.

The first bunch of months here are in the books. I am hoping that we get through the next bunch well, and we stay happy and relatively healthy. I can’t pray and ask for more.

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